Do You Need To Replace Your Lighting To LED?

Darker Countertops Require Good Lighting

Darker Countertops Require Good Lighting

Do you need to replace your bulbs to LED? Not necessarily, but eventually:)

Most of us will still be confused in the lighting aisle, where you can still purchase halogen bulbs because of the low price and  these bulbs “feel” like the old incandescents …. yet halogen bulbs are still only approx. 25 percent more efficient which is just enough to meet the EISA standards set.

LED lights are truly getting better and more exciting. (Can you tell I’m the daughter of a life-long electrician?) Because LED lights are so efficient, they will take a VERY long time before you’ll need to replace. I like that concept! According to Popular Mechanics, “Replacing a 60-watt incandescent with an LED equivalent will save you $130 in energy costs over the new bulb’s lifetime. The average American household could slash $150 from its annual energy bill by replacing all incandescents with LED bulbs.”

Here’s more info:

-LED lights are dimmable

-LED lights are getting “warmer” in color tone (LED’s now have CRI’s in the 80’s….Color Rendering Index)

-LED lights are getting cheaper to buy (manufacturers are more efficient in producing LED’s and demand is high)

Replacing certain kinds of older fixtures and housings take a bit of research and “trying on” lightbulbs can be a chore, but in the end, an updated look is achieved and the energy savings will be realized.

Have a great summer!

Crazy for Granite

Granite island and perimeter surfaces

Granite island and perimeter surfaces

Frequent questions:
Q: How do I select the type of stone or granite that’s best for my kitchen?
A: Each and every natural stone has very unique characteristics. Maintaining your choice of granite could be the key. If you have a busy house with many people using the kitchen, I would steer you away from really dark stone. Every smudge, waterspot and crumb will show up on a dark surface and constant maintenance would need to happen. There are also gorgeous granite slabs that simply have more natural fissures, and that could also be an issue for certain applications.

Q: Why are some granites much more expensive than others?
A: Prices of granite are based on its’ availability. If it is a rare color, the price is always higher. More common granites have actually come down in cost.

Q: Are more expensive granites better?
A: The price of granite depends on the capacity of the quarry and the quarry’s production volume. So the higher the production, the less expensive the cost.

Q: Will I see seams?
A: Yes, unless you have an island that is one level, less than 9.5 ft. long and less than 3 ft. deep. The common standard in the natural stone industry is a seam width of 1/16 inch.

Q: Can I cut on my granite countertop?
A: My personal opinion is that you should always use a cutting board, although the industry rates the hardness of granite between 6-9 (10 being the hardest) and therefore is very resistant to scratching. A kitchen knife ranks at 5.5 and so I always tell homeowners the knife will get dull really quickly if they cut directly  on the granite top.

Q: Will granite stain?
A: Most granites are resin treated at the quarry. When hiring a fabricator for your granite, make sure they include sealing the granite. I’ve rarely seen a stone that stains …. if it does, it can be removed. You can always check with a qualified stone fabricator for more information.

Enjoy your granite tops …. it’s a great investment, and you’ll enjoy the beauty excellent function of natural stone. By all means, include natural stone in your kitchen remodel.


Admit it …. it’s time for new cabinets!

The possibilities with new cabinets are endless! Here are cabinet trim, crown,& valance to enhance a cooking area.

The possibilities with new cabinets are endless! Here are cabinet trim, crown,& valance to enhance a cooking area.

Buy quality, beautiful and healthier cabinets. I think that new cabinetry can update a kitchen the most, although most homeowners have been “told” that changing out the old countertops to granite will do it. Forget that. It’s a bandaid approach NOT to remodel with the newest cabinets.

Most manufactured cabinets today are now put together without urea-formaldehyde glues. Urea-formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. Remember the odor of new cabinets? Not any more….plus cabinet finishes in quality lines have superior finishes. Some lines have automotive finishes and the stains or paints are strongly warrantied. The fact is, you can’t even slam the drawers OR doors anymore on most cabinets.

The latest door styles, hardware, finish options, and “healthier” boxes on cabinets …. all with a really good warranty is where it starts in quality kitchen remodeling.

Contact me if you have any questions. I’m a cabinet girl from way back.


Countertops trending…

As kitchens get smaller, the impact of the countertop gets bigger – and that means creative countertop designs are more important than ever. Designers are addressing this need with a variety of applications, including layering of materials (i.e. wood or solid surface over stone), and varying countertop heights, materials and colors to visually separate different zones.

–More color is showing up in countertops, perhaps because consumers expect to live with their countertops longer than in years past, and are unwilling to commit to a bland color for the long haul…  consumers are increasingly using multiple colors in one space.

–Texture is another key trend, with a growing interest in materials that offer visual texture, depth and dimension.

–Although the economy continues to improve, consumers remain interested in countertop materials that provide value – both functionally and aesthetically. As such, there’s a growing demand for easy-care, durable surfaces that can withstand the test of time.

–While granite remains ever popular, quartz continues to make inroads thanks to its aesthetic appeal, wide array of color options and ease of maintenance. Solid surface also is garnering increased interest for its flexibility, allowing designers to incorporate trivets, drainage boards and even touch-screen TV monitors into the surface. Improved laminate technology is also making laminate a more attractive, affordable option.

The information above is from my latest issue of Kitchen & Bath Design News. I agree with it, and although fully sealed granite is still the most popular choice for homeowners in countertops, the quartz brands that have the best color options and are extremely durable are Cambria and Caesarstone. Silestone has also made designers happy with some of their latest colors.

Email me if you have any questions on replacing your countertops. Okay?


Cool Kitchens…small “splurges” make a big impact!

Getting that first cup of coffee or getting kids their breakfast first thing in the morning often sets the “mood” for your day. Cool kitchen gadgets can help make mornings easier, and they’re fun Christmas gifts to get… but I’d like to tell you about a few small “splurges” you can make in your existing kitchen that can make a big impact on updating your kitchen design.

PURCHASE KITCHEN ISLAND: Actually,  buying a couple base cabinets of drawers and adding post legs or base trim is less expensive than most dining sets of tables and chairs Islands are never trendy and are ever so useful and pretty. Check out Grabill Cabinets’ gallery for ideas.

PURCHASE CROWN MOULDING: By adding a 2 or 3 piece moulding either on top of your existing wall cabinets or around your ceiling in the kitchen, a big visual impact goes a long way. If your floor to ceiling height is shorter, crown mouldings can draw the eye upward when meeting cabinets at the ceiling level. Crown is just outright beautiful! Everything looks finished! You can check out Baird Lumber, a fine moulding source.

PURCHASE NEW CABINET HARDWARE: Check out the drilling size of your existing hardware and then check out the latest in knobs and pulls. You don’t even have to change out all of them….perhaps just a few for visual impact. (Now’s the time to change your kitchen faucet as well) I am enjoying the Art Deco collection from Richelieu Hardware.  Who can resist some of the new metals and finishes out there? There are also glass knobs which I’ve specified for a few jobs recently.

So have fun planning your 2013 kitchen design updates… and have a blessed holiday.

Deb Shababy

Add an island instead of a kitchen table...instant style !

Add an island instead of a kitchen table…instant style !